The goal of the program is to inspire and nurture the culture of innovation among students of engineering and computing. The program includes an integrated curriculum, new venture creation projects and an innovation immersion module, and is taught by a blend of academic faculty as well as experienced entrepreneurs and investors from private sector. Students learn about innovation theories as well as real-world examples. It is expected that the graduates of this program wil demonstrate knowledge in technology ideation, prototyping, business plan development, venture creation, legal protection, corporate innovation strategies and entrepreneurial practices.
A total of 30 credit hours are required. Distribution of courses is be as following:
Engineering and Computing: 18 hours
Business: 9 hours
Law: 3 hours
The program has the following learning outcomes set for its graduates. All students will be able to:
1. Understand the fundamentals of technology prototyping, legal protection, market sizing, business plan development, and capital raise.
2. Communicate effectively across the entire enterprise and contribute in multidisciplinary teams.
3. Lead entrepreneurial process including ideation, feasibility analysis, and management of organizational resources.
4. Apply corporate innovation strategies including the assessment of commercial viability and transformation into business plans.
5. Analyze the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, and entrepreneurial contexts.
6. Identify alternative career possibilities in the context of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Required Courses (24 hours):
ENCP 730 - Cases in Technology Feasibility Analysis (3 credits)
EMCH 522 - Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (3 credits)
ENCP 735 - Developing and Launching New Ventures (3 credits)
ECIV 707 - Management of Engineering Projects (3 credits)
COSM 701 - Business and legal issues for Science Managers (3 credits)
MGMT 777 - Innovation and New Venture Analysis (3 credits)
ENCP 737 - Entrepreneurial Laboratory (6 credits)
Business Electives (6 hours):
Choose two approved business courses (500-level or above). Students should consult with the program director prior to enrolling in elective courses.
Upon the completion of 24 credit hours of cousework, students are required to succefully complete a comprehensive exam. The exam will include a case study report that synthesizes and integrates knowledge gained from the core courses of the program.
The admission criteria will generally conform to those currently required by the USC Graduate School. Individuals with the following qualifications will be considered for admission into the program:
- Must hold a B.S. degree from an accredited program (or equivalent if from an international university) in engineering, computing, technology disciplines, or science, and must provide transcripts from the institution where the degree was obtained.
- A minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.
- International students are required to submit qualifying TOEFL or equivalent test score.
- Individuals may request a waiver of some of the above requirements (e.g., undergraduate GPA less than 3.0, or undergraduate degree not in engineering) and admission to the program if they provide sufficient evidence to the graduate program director that they have had compensatory industrial experience to warrant an exception.
JUSTIFICATION Entrepreneurship has been recognized as an engine for economic growth. This has urged academic institutions to develop collegiate entrepreneurship degree and certificate programs and invest in efforts that encourage innovation in all disciplines. For example, a recent study in 2010 by Shartland et al. highlighted that over half of the ASEE accrediated universities offered a form of entrepreneurship content to engineers, with over 25% reporting more structured offerings like minors and certificates. The recent support by the NSF to launch a national STEP center to foster entrepreneurship, and the changes in ABET accreditation requirements for “professional skills” (Kuratko, 2005) further highlight the need for structured programs to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in engineering students. The interest in entrepreneurship extends beyond engineering and technology. A recent Kauffman-funded Census report cites that “new firms and young businesses account for about 70 percent of gross job creation and disproportionately contribute to net job creation.” According to the Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, Small Business Profile: South Carolina, in 2009 there were 76,142 small businesses with less than 500 employees throughout the state. These small businesses accounted for 97.3% of the state’s total employers and 50.0% of private-sector employment (U.S. Dept. of Commerce: Bureau of the Census). These statistics highlight the great demand for students with entrepreneurial training who can join established or new businesses and become effective team leaders supporting employers as innovators. The University of South Carolina has been implementing a bold strategic plan to inspire creativity. The effort permeates in curriculum, research and industry endeavors, and state economic engagement. The proposed program is directly related to the core USC mission, particularly the focus on education and the granting of terminal degrees, and is thus in-line with the overarching goals delineated in the mission statement. At the state level, South Carolina is home to a number of industrial clusters in the transportation, recycling, biotechnology, manufacturing, automotive and aerospace sectors. The continued growth of these industries depend on the presence of a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem that meets the technological and workforce needs of companies. Achieving this goal requires a comprehensive strategy that employs a “bottom up” approach to entrepreneurship education as well as a “top-down” approach to stimulate high-tech venture creation. The proposed program is a step-stone towards this goal and will solidify the University of South Carolina’s position as the leading partner in advancing the State’s innovation economy.
RELATION TO OTHER PROGRAMS The program attracts students who otherwise would not seek a graduate degree from USC, including engineers aspiring to start high-tech companies or planning to pivot to a career in consulting, business development or management. Based on a preliminary survey of 55 students at USC College of Engineering and Computing, approximately 35% of students demonstrated interest in a graduate degree in engineering entrepreneurship. The survey is an indicator of the demand for this program. No other institution in South Carolina offers a structured graduate degree program in Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurial Engineering. Clemson University offers a Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate available to graduate students in engineering and science disciplines, and an Entrepreneurship Minor available to undergraduate students. It is anticipated that a number of graduates from this program will launch and run new businesses. Entrepreneurial engineers who opt not to start their own venture will have ample opportunities for leadership roles in the private sector, consulting engineering firms and industry as well as in local, state and federal government agencies. This includes in-state organizations as well as outside the state and in foreign countries
PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION A committee composed of faculty in the School of Engineering, the Moore School of Business, and adjunct faculty coming from industry will be formed to oversee the academic curriculum and coordinate the presentation of all curriculum changes to the faculty at-large for approval. The Director of the program will chair the Curriculum Committee. The committee will formalize the assessment plan, tactical metrics, and implementation plan. The committee will use a learning management system to document its assessment processes and program improvements. Program-level information will be linked to the student learning outcomes. The student learning outcomes for the new degree program include: 1. Demonstrate knowledge in business fundamentals, technology prototyping, legal protection, market sizing, business plan development, and capital raise. 2. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively and function on multidisciplinary teams. 3. Demonstrate skills in navigating through the entrepreneurial process including ideation, feasibility analysis, and management of organizational resources. 4. Demonstrate knowledge of the corporate innovation strategies in high-tech enterprises. 5. Demonstrate broad knowledge of the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, and entrepreneurial contexts. 6. Demonstrate knowledge in alternative career possibilities in the context of innovation and entrepreneurship. There are six tools/instruments to be used to evaluate the Student Outcomes: 1. Student ePortfolios 2. Course Notebooks 3. Employer Survey 4. Industry Partners Evaluation in Entrepreneurial Laboratory course 5. Internship preceptor evaluation 6. Exit survey
Dear Provost Gabel,
I am writing to express my strong support for the Master’s Program in Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurial Engineering at the University of South Carolina, College of Engineering and Computing. The new program will provide an educational foundation to prepare engineering students who are interested in launching new ventures and taking leadership roles in high-tech companies.
The program supports the University of South Carolina’s mission to transform discoveries into actions that directly benefit the personal, economic, social, and cultural lives of citizens of both South Carolina and the nation. It also represents an opportunistic initiative that builds on our strengths in engineering and business and promote University of South Carolina’s brand. I am particularly delighted to note that the program will encompass a strong collaborative partnership with the Moore School of Business. The effort will catalyze the formation of strong partnerships between faculty, industry leaders, investors and entrepreneurs. Expanding on entrepreneurial project-based learning would be a great benefit to our students. I believe the graduate degree in in Engineering Entrepreneurship will serve as a distinctive recruiting tool and strengthen the University of South Carolina’s role in the State’s innovation economy.
The program will be directed by Ehsan Jabbarzadeh, PhD, MBA, who conceived and nurtured the idea. He has devoted a substantial effort over the past several months to analyze the market demand, partner with the Moore School of Business faculty, establish collaborations with regional industry, and develop the program curriculum. Dr. Jabbarzadeh’s expertise in both academics as well as business will be a significant asset to the proposed program. I am confident that he will lead the program to the highest level of excellence.
In summary, I am excited by the proposed degree program in in Engineering Entrepreneurship and look forward to the positive impact it will have on the lives of students at USC.
Hossein Haj-Hariri, Dean USC Foundation Distinguished Professor
I am writing to convey the Darla Moore School of Business's support for the proposed graduate program in Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurial Engineering.
The program sets up a platform to give students in science and engineering an overall insight into classic entrepreneurship as well as the creative process of product development and technical innovation. The Moore School fully support the inclusion of following four courses, (i) Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, (ii) Developing and Launching New Ventures, (iii) Innovation and New Venture Analysis, and (iv) Entrepreneurial Finance and the Dynamics of Emerging Ventures, in the curriculum proposal for the program.
We look forward to partnering with the College of Engineering and Computing to foster a culture of innovation and make a significant impact on entrepreneurially minded students at the College.
Pete Brews, Ph.D.
Dean, Darla Moore School of Business
This proposal was routed to Manton Matthews by mistake. It should have gone directly to Jed Lyons. At Jed's request, I am clicking "Approve and Forward" to get it back on track. K. Finnigan
Proposal returned to College; awaiting approval from the Office of the Provost.
Thank you for attending the SM&RPP meeting on 9/12/16. While your overall program proposal looks promising, it is being returned for the following reasons.
It is a requirement that the courses indicated for a new program exist before the program itself can be approved. Please note that new courses and the associated program can be proposed concurrently.
The proposal also requires the following minor modifications.
A MS degree must have a comprehensive exam.
learing outcomes: please use action verbs that are "measureable" instead of demonstrate.
other program requirements:
please add "qualifying" before TOEFL scores
change the word waiver to "exception"
remove the last sentence: It will be up to the program to accept or decline this request.
The porgram proposal is being returned for the following reasons.
1) special topic courses (temporary by nature) must not be explicity required for a degree program. This includes the two BADM 790 listings
2) The course LAWS 702 can not be found in the academic bulletin for the law school.
Approving at request/on behalf of Jed Lyons.
BOT approved 12-13-16.
CHE approved 4-6-17
SACS appv: 8/10/17